Fixing Computers for Beer!

September 20, 2007


Like most people involved with computer support, my first experience began when fixing PC’s for friends and family. Usually this resulted in payment with free beer, not bad when you where 17! Ten years later I still find myself fixing friends and family computers.

So here is quick guide to what I would install on a personal PC, maybe one you’ve formatted and re-installed Windows because it was running very slow. I say personal PC because AVG Anti-Virus Free version can’t legally be used in business without paying for the commercial version.

  1. Partition and format the drive into two. One for the Windows System and the other for files and documents. That way you can wipe Windows without losing your files.
  2. Install Windows XP and configure
  3. Install hardware drivers
  4. Install service packs if required (SP2 for full wireless capabilities)
  5. Run Windows updates, twice only
  6. Install Microsoft Office if required, other wise install free Open Office
  7. Run Office updates and enable office and window updates to download together 
  8. Install Firefox, make sure you rename the shortcuts as “Internet” else they will hunt down IE and start using it again.
  9. Thunderbird for Email
  10. Install AVG Anti Virus and AVG Spyware – Free Versions 
  11. Enable Firewall and Windows Updates (Set as download and install at shutdown only)
  12. Install 7zip for zip files and other compressed files, an excellent free alternative to WinRar and WinZip
  13. Install CrossLoop for remote support
  14. Install Foxit, lightweight alternative to bloated Adobe PDF Reader
  15. Install VCL Player, multimedia player for various audio and video formats
  16. Install iTunes if they have a iPod
  17. Install CCleaner and clean up the installation files left from windows updates
  18. Run Defrag
  19. Maybe install some type of free Online Backup Service

Family PC


If the computer is for Family use, make sure you read Improving Windows XP for Families  by Robin our Managing Director.

What software do you install on your friends and family PC’s?


Related posts:

  1. Is That Windows Updates In Your Pocket?
  2. Offline Files and Folders, the 2 GB limit!
  3. How to speed up your computer – Part One
  4. Improving Windows XP for Families
  5. Free Remote Support Software

Author: Support @ 11:00 am


  1. 10 Ways to Not Fix Others’ Computers, and Save Face

    Comment by Jamie — September 20, 2007 @ 11:15 am

  2. I am appauled to read that having been 17 years of age i.e. below 21 you were rewarded with beer. What an outrages disregard of American legal practices. O tempora o mores! Shame be upon you.

    Comment by European — September 21, 2007 @ 8:57 am

  3. Its terrible!

    Jamie from the 51st of America!

    Comment by Jamie — September 21, 2007 @ 9:06 am

  4. That was a good post. I never thought about the partition to save docs. I also use the freeware you mentioned. They are very good.

    Comment by CHESSNOID — September 22, 2007 @ 6:13 pm

  5. I generally install AdAware and SpybotS&D as well…
    And I tend to VNC rather than crossloop – personal preference.

    Comment by rory — February 15, 2008 @ 2:50 pm

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